Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Paul Miles

In May, IWC launched the four week series Deep Dive with an IWC Collector, with the title serving as an homage to the Year of the Aquatimer. 

Over the last three weeks we’ve met serious IWC timepiece aficionados. From Adam Craniotes' love for his Top Gun Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar, Jemuel Ripley’s fascination with the history of the Ingenieur and Dr. Jay Kerner’s passion for diving and the watches he associates with this hobby, we’ve met three individuals that each bring a unique perspective to the world of watch collecting.

In the fourth and final week of the series, Paul Miles is our featured collector. Originally from London but calling Brooklyn home since 2008, Paul spends his days working on Wall Street. However, his evenings are spent curating an extensive watch collection and finding comfort in the fact that he’s not the only guy who spends his days thinking of calibres, case backs and the perfect strap. 
Q. What first sparked your interest with timepieces? 

I can’t believe I’m going to admit to this, but it was a fake watch that started it all. I was around 11 years old, when I saw a sporty looking timepiece on my cousin’s wrist at a family event. At the time, obviously, I had no idea what it was. All I knew, was that it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen, and I was obsessed by it. Pretty soon after that, I had saved enough of my allowance to purchase a watch, which was followed a couple of years later by a bright colored Swatch. Things only got more serious from there. Watches have been a major passion of mine for 20 years now, which makes me feel both proud, and old.

Q. Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why? 

I wear my Big Pilot 5004 nearly every day, but I’d have to say the Pilot’s Chronograph was the first answer which sprang to mind. The 3717-01 was my first ‘real’ mechanical watch, so there is undoubtedly a sentimental aspect to my answer, but aside from that, it’s just a fantastically well designed watch which really captures the spirit of the Pilot’s collection, at an accessible price point. The thin bezel makes for a dial that is so clean, classic, and legible, yet with design flourishes to make it interesting to look at. On the current model, the 3777, I particularly love the expansion of the date window, which is a brilliant way of furthering the aeronautical aspect of the design, by capturing one of the defining features of an Altimeter. A simple change, which says so much. Aside from the aesthetics of the piece, I also love the rotor ‘wobble’ of the movement - a gentle reminder of the mechanical ‘heart’ powering the watch.
Q. What do you think makes a timeless watch, in terms of design and appeal? 

Put simply, I believe that a timeless a watch is one which maintains the DNA of the brand, yet can be constantly pushed forward, whether in terms of the design, the materials used, or the complications of the piece. I believe that IWC really understand this and are one of the best in the business at pushing the boundaries whilst still creating watches which maintain the heritage of the brand, making them easily recognizable as coming from Schaffhausen. If I could jump into my DeLorean, rev it to 88mph and head 100 years into the future, I know I would have no trouble recognizing an IWC watch from the crowd. There are not many brands I could say that about. It is no coincidence that despite being primarily a vintage collector, I am equally enthused by both modern and vintage IWC.

Q. If you could design an IWC timepiece, which fine watchmaking elements would you include? 

I’ve always enjoyed IWC’s boldness in terms of the materials they use, so I’d start with a case made of an exotic material, such as Ceramic or Titanium. For the dial, I’d include the clean design and legibility which I mentioned as being a key part of my devotion to the Pilot’s collection. I’d borrow the all-encompassing display back from the Portuguese Automatic, so I could watch the Pellaton winding system in action. Finally, I’d include a functional, yet interesting complication, such as a rattrapante chronograph. In other words, it would be a perfect blend of everything I love about IWC: functionality, style, and heritage.

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Dr. Jay Kerner

Two weeks ago, IWC launched a 4 part series entitled Deep Dive with an IWC Collector, where each week the IWC Blog introduces a U.S.-based collector to our online audience.

In its first week, collector Adam Craniotes was featured, and last week, 
Jemuel Ripley was introduced. For week 3, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Jay Kerner to the series. 

Considering that 2014/2015 is the Year of the Aquatimer, Dr. Kerner is a perfect IWC collector to highlight, as his main interests include the ocean and dive watches, as well as tiki bars, though not necessarily in that order.

Q. What first sparked your interest with timepieces? 

As a beach lifeguard in my youth, a ‘waterproof’ dive watch was de riguer.  They were about twelve dollars and lasted nearly the whole summer, so I was rarely without one on my wrist.  Many years later, at a jewelry flea market in Florida, I spotted an inexpensive diver, which brought back those memories, and here I am today with more watches than any sane man requires. 

Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why?

While I’m a huge fan of IWC in general, there are two pieces that I’m particularly fond of: the Aquatimer GST ref. 3536 in titanium and the Fleigerchrono ref. 3705 in ceramic.  Why? I think it’s the combination of vintage vibes and the nod to modernity that they embody; the 3536 and 3705 hark back to the early days of divers and Fleigers, both in design and function, and yet also point the way to the future.

Q. What do you think makes a timeless watch, in terms of design and appeal?   

IWC, in an excellent example of forward thinking, was an early adopter of titanium as a material for use in watch cases and bracelets, which debuted with their Porsche Design collaborations in the late 70s and early 80s, and was further refined in the ref. 3536 Aquatimer; the latter’s innovative push-to-turn bezel alone was worth the price of admission. And speaking of casework, the ceramic cased 3705 was near futuristic. Sure, ceramic cases are approaching the mainstream now, but in the mid-90’s they were quite exotic. Talk about anticipating the market! 

Q. If you could design an IWC timepiece, which fine watchmaking elements would you include? 

My design preferences would include clarity, robustness, an interesting case design and an interesting movement.  Ideally, it would blend together elements from the past and the present, which is a hallmark of IWC’s timeless designs. Clearly it would be a watch for a man!

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Jemuel Ripley

Beginning last week, IWC kicked off a four week blog series which highlights a U.S. collector. As an homage to the Year of the Aquatimer, we’re calling it Deep Dive with an IWC Collector. 

For the second post in the series, we sat down with Jemuel Ripley, a member of New York City’s watch club known as the Red Bar Crew.

Q. What first sparked your interest with watches?

In the mid 90’s, I was walking through a department store where I noticed a watch display - the sheer size and weight of the pieces, along with their seemingly huge design features, caught my eye. At the time, I could never imagine spending that much money on a watch or having a watch that large. Almost two decades later, I finally made the leap and purchased my first luxury watch. That’s really where it all began.

Q. Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why?

A tough question for sure. I only buy watches that I truly love and intend to keep as long as I can. I’m not the type to flip watches and get pretty attached to them.  If I had to choose one IWC as favorite it would have to be my 3227-01. The Ingenieur is a perfect balance of design and engineering that looks incredible on its robust, yet refined, steel bracelet. It also looks great on a custom strap. I can wear it for a business meeting or a weekend out and about and never have to think about it fitting in contextually. I also just love the weight of the piece - a massive beast.

Q. What do you think makes a timeless (in terms of design and appeal) watch? 

Great design is timeless - it just works. IWC is one of those brands that understands that and isn’t afraid to push the envelope and experiment. So many pieces in the IWC stable are based on great design and evoke a timeless quality, which is a major reason why I love the brand and my collection. I plan to wear them forever and hand them over to my son so that he can continue to wear them, knowing that their timeless quality will endure.

 Q. If you could design an IWC piece, which fine watchmaking elements would you include?

One of the things that I have always loved is a really well done chronograph - not too flashy but with an engineering flair that just looks technical. The 3714-01 is a great example of this and one of the reasons I love the piece. Another great technical feature is the internal rotating bezel of the 3538 with it’s decoupling feature at 10M.  I also love AR coatings and the way it changes the perceived color of the face depending on the angle and the light. There are so many more features to consider but these are just a few that come to mind. 

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Adam Craniotes

For the next four weeks, IWC will highlight a U.S. collector in an ongoing series – as an homage to the Year of the Aquatimer – known as Deep Dive with an IWC Collector.

The inaugural Q&A features Adam Craniotes, a New York City-based IWC collector and self-described “gentleman journalist” for the watch industry. He also hosts a weekly gathering for collectors in the tri-state area. Most importantly, Mr. Craniotes can say that since he was 8 years old, he has never gone a single day without a timepiece on his left wrist.  

Q. What first sparked your interest with timepieces?

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a special place in my heart for watches, but this yen didn’t metastasize into full-blown obsession until I was 8 years old, when my grandfather bought me my first timepiece, a Casio F-7.  That watch was the first of many Casios that I would own throughout grade school, middle school and high school, and while I have since “graduated” to higher end mechanical pieces, I still have a soft spot for Casio digital watches.  In fact, I found another F-7 on eBay several years back and gave it to my son on his third birthday.  Now my first watch is his first watch (he’s going to have to wait a bit for that Father & Son Pilot’s watch set, though).  

Q. Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why?

From IWC’s contemporary lineup, my flat-out favorite piece is the Top Gun Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar.  For me, it represents everything that I love about IWC – innovation, heritage, design – all wrapped up in a single package.  Innovation?  IWC pioneered the use of both ceramic and titanium in watches, and both materials are present in this watch.  Heritage?  Mention “pilot’s watch” to any collector or watch fanatic, and the Big Pilot is the first watch that springs to mind.  Design?  Kurt Klaus, one of the most famous watchmakers of our age, a living legend, and a man whose name is all but synonymous with IWC, was the driving mind behind the 7-day c.5000 series movement and the pre-programmed perpetual calendar complication that powers this watch.  This watch, in a nutshell, is IWC.

Another piece that moves me is the now-classic ref. 3227-01 Ingenieur, which was released in 2005.  This watch took the iconic Gerald Genta-designed Ingenieur SL “Jumbo”, and modernized it with a larger, more robust case and a new, CAD-designed shock-resistant movement (another industry first), the c.80110.  Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of watches would instantly recognize it as having come from Schaffhausen.  I’ve owned mine for years, and I love it as much today as when I first put it on my wrist.   

Q. What do you think makes a timeless watch, in terms of design and appeal?

A lot of what makes a watch timeless depends on the intent and purpose of the watch to begin with.  The aforementioned Big Pilot works at 48mm, because that’s what it is – namely, a “big” pilot’s watch.  However, 48mm won’t cut it on a proper dress watch, now will it?  Of course not. Ultimately form has to follow function, and with IWC, this has always been the case.  An Ingenieur for engineers, a Big Pilot for airmen, an Aquatimer for divers, etc; each of these lines was designed to fill a need, and by following this lead, the end result has been a series of iconic watches that accurately reflect their purpose without shouting.

Q. If you could design an IWC timepiece, which fine watchmaking elements would you include?

In many ways, the TGBPPC is the watch that I would design for “my” IWC.  It has all the elements that make this manufacture so special, and frankly, it never fails to put a smile on my face when I glance at my wrist.  Again, what are these elements?  Innovation, heritage and design.  As a manufacture, IWC doesn’t create watches for sake of creating watches; there’s a harmony of purpose and design at work that few other brands have mastered to quite this degree, and it’s what keeps me coming back year after year.

Meet Jeff Malmberg: Filmmaker and 2013 IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award Winner at the Tribeca Film Festival

In 2013, filmmaker Jeff Malmberg was the first ever winner of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. Jeff has been busy at work editing his latest project over the past several months, but he took the time to catch up with IWC to look back on the past year.

Tell us a little about the project you’re currently working on? 

For the last few years I’ve been working on a documentary film set in rural Italy called “Teatro”. It tells the story of a small Italian village that turns their lives into a play in order to confront their issues, unite their town, and preserve their culture. My wife and filmmaking partner Chris Shellen and I spent six months living with the people of the town and shooting every day. We learned Italian for the project and currently we’re in the middle of editing.

How has the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award helped your film career?

The award has helped me to continue working on my second film, “Teatro”. Just recently I traveled to Italy to show rough cut scenes to the subjects in the film and have a conversation with them about the finished project. I consider this an essential part of the editing process in documentary and it wouldn’t have been possible without the award from IWC.

Where do you find inspiration for your filmmaking?

One of the great things about filmmaking is you can be inspired by all the art around you – not just specifically other films. It’s probably no accident that in the one film I’ve made and the other one I’m currently making that one is about a photographer and the other is about a play. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to replicate the experience of reading a novel. How you get put inside a character’s head and then you’re led through a subjective experience.

What is your ultimate filmmaking dream?

What I’d like to do is create a body of work that allows me to keep telling stories the way I feel they should be told. I want to keep working with my wife on projects that excite us and ultimately I want to teach our child how to make films.

What advice would you give to current Tribeca Film Institute students who are looking to kick off their career? 

To me it all comes down to the subject you choose. Particularly in documentary filmmaking, it’s important to pick a subject that will take you to a place that you don’t know the depths of  – something that you want to explore and spend years trying to understand. To me the best films are really archives of the filmmaker’s quest to understand something. And then of course shaping it into something where the audience gets to go on that journey too.

What are some of the biggest challenges new filmmakers are facing today?

One of the issues with filmmaking is the incredible amount of time it takes. Not only the time to shoot the material but the time to actually sit down and find both the story and the right way to tell that story. So I’m really grateful for the IWC award that gives filmmakers the time they need to tell their story.

A Busy Week for IWC Charitable Partner Laureus Sport For Good

Here at IWC Schaffhausen we are proud of our charitable commitments around the world, and especially endeavored towards our efforts in support of the Laureus Sport for Good program, whose global programs help children in need engage in social and athletic activities. This past week was quite newsworthy for the Laureus Foundation and we wanted to share all of the activities with you!

We’ve previously shared the news of a worldwide contest, where children could submit design entries which would be engraved on the back of a limited Portofino Chronograph Laureus edition watch.

Olympian Steve Redgrave presenting Kumara with her prize

This year the competition was won by a eight year old Sri Lankan girl – and just this week she had an unparalleled experience, when Kumara Wadu Parami Apsara was presented her winning prize by Olympian and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Steve Redgrave.

As Redgrave explained after presenting the award: “You could see the delight in her eyes and the pride in what she had achieved. It’s wonderful to think that the drawing she has made will travel around the world on the back of this watch and raise money to help other youngsters like her.”

Meanwhile on the other side of the world (and in IWC Schaffhausen’s home country), Laureus Switzerland held a fundraising auction, raising more than 350,000 EUR. This included a 140,000 CHF (116,000 EUR) IWC watch, an unique timepiece that not only embodies the craftsmanship of IWC but brings to its wearer the embodiment of philanthropy. The auction also included a trip to the Laureus World Sports Awards 2013 – to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

An amazing timepiece auctioned for an equally amazing cause, benefitting Laureus Switzerland

From honoring a young Sri Lankan girl’s artistic pursuits, to providing needed funds for children in Switzerland the Laureus Foundation is truly committed to bettering the lives of young people around the world. And we, at IWC Schaffhausen, are proud to partner with them in this quest. 

For the Sophisticated Sportsman: the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph

This past summer we brought you play-by-play updates from the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, and especially the thrilling experience of Abu Dhabi Racing’s entrant Azzam. Sailing on the open water: potentially harsh conditions, constant spray, and punishing winds – it requires a timepiece to withstand it all. We believe the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph stands up to such a test, and more, and so wanted to share some of its traits with you.

The IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chrono ready for action

While this exquisite timepiece is inspired by Yacht Club designs from the 1960’s to 1970’s there has never been a chronograph included in the lineage. Additionally, this is the only member of our IWC Portuguese watch family with a rubber strap – creating what we consider the perfect marriage of sophistication and sportsmanship.

Unique with its rubber strap, making this watch the necessary outdoor accessory

With a water resistance to six bar, the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph is ready for any nautical adventure, and the additional flange with quarter-second calibration allows for the tracking of short periods of time. Laps, heats, or speed of descent is all monitored closely.

The ability to track short or long times makes this a versatile timepiece

The 89360-calibre provides self-winding precision and boats an impressive 68 hour power reserve. Given that the chronograph feature allows you to read off especially long time measurements, the power reserve can definitely come in use!

But back to the aforementioned race. As it turns out we issued a Volvo Ocean Race Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph edition in honor of the crew of the Azzam and the other entrants in this year’s competition. Produced in titanium, with a carbon fiber dial, it represented the pinnacle of durability.

The collection of IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronos

In addition to the special edition titanium, we offer this incredible watch in stainless steel and red gold, all with the rubber band. Before your next sailing excursion or even a rambunctious day in town, be sure to discover the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph.